Food and the city

Essay contest: Food and the City

The food choices people make have an effect on all the important areas in life. Food is the starting point for the relationship between man and nature, the economy, but also for how people relate to each other. Do you have an opinion on the urban food system? And can you articulate it in a sharply written essay? Then Flevo Campus is looking for you!
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Flevo Campus essay wedstrijd verkleind

The annual Flevo Campus essay contest is on the horizon! The former three editions were very successful and saw the winning essays published in the annual Flevo Campus essay collection. The organisers and judges have high expectations this year. Do you have an illuminating point of view, good writing skills and the desire to get published ánd win a nice cash prize? Grab your pen and enter! 

Fewer and fewer people are responsible for the feeding of more and more urban mouths.

What is Flevo Campus?

Flevo Campus is a knowledge institute focused on urban food issues. Located right in the middle of some of the world’s most productive farmland – the Flevopolder – and a burgeoning metropolis – the Randstad, it is the perfect spot to use applied research, education and entrepreneurship to create the urban food system of the future. 

Flevo Campus is explicitly focused on the city. Both in the Netherlands and in the rest of the world, the majority of people live in cities. On average, city dwellers do not engage in food production. This is traditionally the domain of farmers, of which there are increasingly few, leaving fewer and fewer people to the carry responsibility of feeding more and more people. It also means that the environment and culture surrounding city dwellers‘ food consumption have changed considerably in recent decades. Flevo Campus wants to know the past and present of the food system, interpret it and in so doing, predict and improve its future.

Enter the Flevo Campus essay contest 2022!

Last year, the collection took on a strong socio-cultural flavour with, for example, essays on the history of the cultural representation of the smoked sausage, food as a public issue and Danish star restaurant Noma’s impact on wider food culture.

This year’s volume is dedicated to the theme of ‘food and the city‘. How you approach that is up to you. We especially welcome pitches that come at the topic from a behavior, culture, or identity angle. But we also appreciate more traditional investigative or feature proposals. 

The rules

Are you the (aspiring) writer we are looking for? Then submit your essay proposal no later than 11 November 2022. The proposal should be a pitch of what your essay will look like and does not exceed one A4 page. The proposals will be assessed by the jury who will subsequently choose the winners. The winners will then be invited to develop their proposal into a full essay, to be completed by 1 February 2023.

This year’s contest will have three winners, in three categories:   

  • Personal essay: an opinion piece that argues a clear viewpoint. The winner will receive €3,000.   
  • Feature story. A topical or investigative piece, or a journalism-style feature production. The winner receives €3,000.   
  • Student or thesis award: are you currently studying and have you gained an insight worthy of an essay? Or did you write a thesis on a relevant topic? Then adapt your idea or thesis into an essay and receive €1,750. 

When submitting your proposal, please use the accompanying form to argue why you have chosen your particular category. Please do this in one concise sentence.

Submitting your essay

You can only submit your essay proposal using this form. Proposals via email or other channels will not be considered. If you have trouble using the form, please send an email to

What else: rights, duties, publication, fees, exceptions

  • The contest is open to everyone, with the exception of the student category: only students or recent graduates may apply for this. Your essay should be based on work created during your studies (and not more than one year after graduation). Students may also enter the opinion and journalism categories.
  • If your proposal is selected, you will further develop your essay on behalf of Flevo Campus.
  • Fees will be paid upon timely submission of the finished work.
  • The deadline for the definitive work is 31 January 2023.
  • The definitive work is between 2,500 and 4,000 words in length. 
  • The definitive work will be judged on its own merits. If the essay collection editors decide that the work is of insufficient standard, it will not be included in the collection. This happens only in exceptional cases, but the decision lies entirely with the editors. Winning the essay competition, therefore, wins you the intention to be published, but not the right.  
  • In case the essay is not included in the collection for any reason, the fee will be halved.
  • Non-selected essay proposals remain the property of the author. Flevo Campus expressly hopes that authors who do not win will try to get their piece published elsewhere. Should they succeed, Flevo Campus will draw attention to the essay published elsewhere in its own communications or on social media.
  • The essay will be published in a collection that will also include commissioned essays by renowned authors.  
  • The collection will be released mid-2023, and is the fifth edition in a series of Flevo Campus essay collections.
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